Senators file WOOFF Act after United dog death

Pet dies after being put in overhead bin

By ELI WATKINS, CNN
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A bipartisan pair of senators on Thursday filed the Welfare Of Our Furry Friends (WOOFF) Act to prohibit putting animals in overhead compartments on flights following the death of a dog in an overhead cabin on a United Flight this week.

Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy and Nevada Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto filed the bill, which would also direct the Federal Aviation Administration to establish fines for putting animals in overhead bins, after the viral story of a French bulldog's death prompted Kennedy to write a letter to United on Wednesday.

"In a lot of respects, dogs are how people ought to be," Kennedy said on CNN's "New Day" Thursday morning.

Calling the most recent incident "disgraceful," Kennedy noted that United accounted for the majority of animal deaths on flights among US carriers and vowed to push for a legislative fix.

"I don't particularly enjoy having to legislate, or trying to legislate, common decency," Kennedy said. "But by God, I'm going to do it until they take this seriously."

Kennedy indicated Wednesday he would file the bill, and in a letter, he demanded answers from United about how the death happened. United has said it accepts full blame for the death and called it a "tragic accident."

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